It could be my Jewish heritage, but I think that it is better to start a celebration with a reading than with a mere saying. I plan to read the following:
Let us read justice to the men and women whom we thank this evening. In the words of Ayn Rand: "Thousands of years ago, the first man discovered how to make fire. He was probably burned at the stake he had taught his brothers to light. ... Centuries later, the first man invented the wheel. He was probably torn on the rack he had taught his brothers to build. ... Throughout centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision. Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road was new, the vision unborrowed. ... The creators - the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors - stood alone against the men of their time. Every great new thought was opposed. Every great new invention was denounced. The first motor was considered foolish. The airplane was considered impossible. The power loom was considered vicious. Anesthesia was considered sinful. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered, and they paid. But they won." We celebrate their victories, and of our own.